Three participants and their experience with the Master program

We checked in with three of the participants that were a part of the last round of our Master program, about how they experienced it, the mentoring sessions, and what they are bringing with them moving forward.

Skrevet av Kristiane Lunde 11.05.2021

Master mentorsak ny

The Master program is an educational and capacity building program (1 year) which aims to ensure the recruitment of young industry talents with international growth ambitions. In addition to 5 professional gatherings at home / abroad, each participant is offered mentor guidance.

We checked in with three of our master participants, Aldin Duratovic from Made Management, Malwina Witkowska from No Earplugs and Ronja Brox about how they experienced the master's program, and what benefits they have received from working closely with their respective mentors.

Can you tell us a little about what it has been like for you to take part in the master program?

Aldin: It has been very educational and helpful! It's a varied program that covers most aspects of the music industry, and it has been especially cool to connect with like-minded people from the industry.

Participating in the master program has been an incredible honor for me. Our legendary project manager put together a group that I really feel represents both the diversity and the versatility of today's music industry, and it has meant extremely much to me to be able to be among other ambitious people. It is this affiliation that I sat in the girls' room for a long time and dreamed of. Every time I see this group of people I am reminded of why I love the music industry.

Malwina: Participating in the master program has been an exciting and educational process for me. I see how the development has gone from the beginning, until the end of the program - the way I work has changed. I also see a clear development of No Earplugs. I was the only representative of the jazz community, and I gained insight into the other side of the music industry, which other colleagues on the program represent. It was challenging, maybe even a little scary at first, but a very educational experience. I got lots of tips and ideas for developing myself and my company.

Thanks to Music Norway, I was also able to attend exciting digital conferences such as Jazzahead, Hokuo Trade Mission and NextGen. It is amazing how many new contacts and how much new knowledge you can get by participating in these. I have already started big international plans for No Earplugs, thanks to the participation in these conferences!

During the program, you were all assigned or you chose a mentor to guide and learn from, which mentor have you had and how have you worked together?

Aldin: I got Barry Johnson, President of "Since the 80s". We have mainly had conversations over Facetime where we have discussed various issues I have presented in advance.

Ronja: I received the best mentor of all time and being 'pleased' is an understatement. In addition to being sharp and resourceful, my mentor has equipped me with invaluable insight and been wonderfully generous with his time and network. I have had the pleasure of getting a scholarly introduction to music publishing as well as the industry structures in the UK by Pete Simmons, Director of A&R at Universal Music Publishing UK - a true legend!

Malwina: My mentor was Eirik Søreide from Polar Artist. I chose Eirik because of the long experience he has as a booking agent. I could also relate to Polar Artist's passion for music and the artists they represent, both locally and internationally. We had five digital meetings, and focused on the art of being a booking agent. We also solved any issues related to my projects that arose along the way.

I received the mentor of all time and being 'pleased' is an understatement. In addition to being sharp and resourceful, my mentor has equipped me with invaluable insight and has been wonderfully generous with his time and network.

— Ronja Brox

What benefits have you gained from using this mentor?

Aldin: The biggest benefit I have had is probably to get in direct contact with an industry professional in a market I mainly work towards, and thus get a greater insight into how the industry in the US works.

Ronja: My mentor has really transformed the notion I had about what a mentor can contribute with. He has been available for everything I have asked about and I am glad that I have learned from an industry professional with so much integrity, success and genuine love for what he does. In addition to demystifying a lot of complicated things within the music industry, he has been a nice conversation partner who has pushed me past uncertainties that have previously held me back. In an industry that is characterized by unpredictability, it is of great importance to have a relationship based on such trust. After the mentoring sessions, I have become more confident in myself, my career path and the industry in general.

Malwina: I got thousands of good tips, from sending a good and effective pitch, through networking and creating good relationships with festival directors and producers, to the best strategy for tour building. We have also focused on sales psychology, which gave me a completely different point of view about my job as a booking agent - it's about "selling" my artists, but it's not just about the business part. I'm the biggest fan of the artists I represent. I could not promote music that I myself do not listen to and that doesn't make me feel something. Therefore, I simply want to spread my passion and joy for my artists and their music around the world, among other artists, audiences, producers, managers ... This is the way I want to sell No Earplugs and its roster.

What do you take along with you from the master's program?

Aldin: I will bring along a lot of knowledge, experience and several good contacts I will include in my network in the future. There is a lot of knowledge that I want to take with me to the team and my record company.

Ronja: Well, I am a changed woman! The master's program has been an enriching and formative experience in many ways. It has been fun to be in such a multifaceted group where everyone has different jobs and perspectives. Among other things, I take with me the undeniable passion that the others have for their artists and what it means to build a worthy team. I have also grown incredibly much and drawn lots of useful knowledge through the wonderful tailor-made gatherings. I'm left with a wiser head and a bigger heart.

Malwina: First of all, I have more faith in myself and No Earplugs. But also a lot of inspiration, knowledge about marketing my artists, better planning tools, work structure and last but not least, new national and international contacts.